DEQ grant funds eco-friendly buses for art school

Published 1:04 am Sunday, August 7, 2011

A grant from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is funding two new environmentally friendly, air conditioned buses for the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven.

School Director Suzanne Hirsch tells The Daily Leader ( ) the buses were needed to replace outdated vehicles that were at risk of breaking down.

Keith Head, an MDEQ environmental engineer, and Freddie Ervin of the department’s air division, presented the buses to the school.

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Head said there were 39 grant applications from various entities around the state. Only 12 received grants and the School of the Arts was in the only school district to get one.

According to Thomas Built, the manufacturer of the buses, the technology used in the buses reduces nitrogen oxides emissions to almost zero.

“We awarded a total of $240,000 … and of that, MSA received $41,000 for the two buses,” Head said.

Jeanne Lebow, a creative writing teacher, said field trips in the past were limited to nearby areas because of the fear of bus breakdowns.

“We never wanted to go too far and then break down,” Lebow said. “And now, we could take trips out of state if we needed to. I could also take both my senior and my junior classes on a field trip at the same time.”

School officials, in addition to noting that the buses will allow longer, more comfortable trips, emphasized the economic and environmental benefits of the more fuel efficient, low-emission vehicles.


Information from: The Daily Leader,